Category Archives: Ars Poetica

Possible Observations to Consider About Life Through the Metaphor of Food

Possible Observations to Consider About Life Through the Metaphor of Food

the dehydrated pea rattling around an empty plastic bottle
makes a great rattle for a child but
represents the entirety of your mortality

a secret being told to you
is the opening of a packet of chocolate biscuits
and you scoff the lot

doubt sticks to the roof of your mouth
like a fresh white bread and peanut butter sandwich
after adding a layer of butter as an undercoat

you take your tea with milk and sugar
same as your father
and recycle the teabag to make another cup

Post It Note Poetry 2020

2020 is the 8th year of Post-It Note Poetry. Not bad for something that started as a dare to write bad poetry on Post-it notes between two friends.

The JAR Writers’ Collective will host the month-long poetry event this year, co-ordinated by Jodi CLeghorn, in league with fellow Collective members myself and Rus VanWestervelt, and ably supported by eight brilliant Post-It Note Poetry Ambassadors.

𝗔𝗕𝗢𝗨𝗧 𝗣𝗢𝗦𝗧-𝗜𝗧 𝗡𝗢𝗧𝗘 𝗣𝗢𝗘𝗧𝗥𝗬

Post-It Note Poetry runs every day in February and is designed with two broad aims in mind:

1. To encourage people of all skills sets and persuasions to explore and have fun with poetry – whether they are seasoned poets or curious souls attempting poetry for the first time since their teenage years.

2. To create within a confined physical space (the size of a post-it note) as a positive limitation. It is also a way of making poetry composition possible for 29 consecutive days.

“𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗥𝗨𝗟𝗘𝗦”

The rules are simple for those who’d like to play along at home (at work, on the bus or in any of those in between places perfect for scribbling poetic words on small squares of sticky paper).

🖊 Write/build/create a poem every day of February.

🖊 Poems must fit on a post-it note (or be an equivalent sized poem – ie. no more than 8 lines on a larger backing).

🖊Poems must adhere to the original light-hearted spirit of permission to write badly – in which poems can tackle serious content, but internal editors/critics all get a break over February.

🖊Post poems to social media with the hashtag #pinp20.

🖊Follow the hashtag and enjoy what others are creating.

We look forward to introducing our ambassadors in the coming days.

All questions or inquiries can be directed to me!!

If you’d like to join the Facebook group – you can do so here.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/460406284024429/

Pick A Number

Pick a number
ascribe to it any value
you so choose:
steps to motivate yourself
number of heartbeats before your lips touched
journal pages you wrote in then burned on New Year’s Eve
pens you collected from the floor, under the couch, borrowed from the teacher
days until you decided enough was enough
channels you flick through waiting for something to turn you on – but nothing ever does
seconds it takes you to orgasm by yourself – double it if you’re bored and only doing it as an act of revenge
thoughts about tomorrow
permutations of today’s anxiety
shades of lipstick available but you only use three
soundtrack albums you own
letters it took to say “It’s over” and the same to say “I’m sorry” and the same again to say “Please”
social media followers who know your name
ways to die – plus one more to know you’re alive

Inktober

For the month of October, participants engage in a drawing frenzy #inktober, drawing and posting one of their creations each day of the month.

My artistic skills are amateur at best. It’s a skill. One I have not developed or invested time into. 

Therefore, instead of drawing, I’m posting a hand-written piece per day. It’s what I normally do over on Instagram (@handwrittenpages) but adding in the challenge of doing it daily. 

Here is the first week’s worth of writing.

August Round Up Part 2

Now that August has officially ended, and Spring has knocked politely on the front door I can wrap up the last of this month’s pieces.

And now, as adults, at a family gathering around a meal of spaghetti bolognaise, abbreviated as ‘spagbol’ – one word, not two – we each cut our children’s spaghetti; fragmenting sentences into phrases, clauses and syllables caught between the tines of forks and uttered between lengthy pauses while conversation pools in puddles of sauce.

The temporality of whiteboards and their content, known to me as a teacher, also makes a great canvas or notepad. I can write on it, amend, and take a photo to preserve it then erase it as if it never existed.

I rub the scar tissue on my knee, the geography of brothers
a reminder of when I had pieces of gravel scrubbed from my flesh
after you had pushed me onto the bitumen
the playful violence having given way to silence in later years
because we never found the words to replace our actions

I’ve had this used drum head for a while and I loved the texture that happens when a coated drum head deteriorates and I wanted the texture to reflect the tone and content of the poem.
I finally got around to finding the right words. I’m not happy with the penmanship; maybe I should have used a different handwriting style. However, I like the content.

1 Object/2 Poems

tongues of flame above our heads
descending to our mouths, our lips
duplicating another tongue withthe anticipation of consuming
tongue-twisted ecstacies of abandonment
unto one another
burning twice, existing briefly

 

tongues of flame
the revolution of the insolent
indolent
insouciant
ashes in the wind

fragmentary colour/blooms quickly then disappears/a father’s anger

August Round Up

Even though August is not yet over, a little over half way, here is a quick creative roundup.

Words have been in short supply due to work commitments (there’s always marking to do when you’re an English teacher) so in the interim, a bit of blackout poetry can fill the creative need.

 

Counting Words. Edging ever so close to the end of this novella. I added a little over 600 words in August (and read hundreds and hundreds more in student essays).

The “blank” canvas.

The finished version of the “blank” canvas. Not totally happy with the results but it was an experiment. Needs more experimenting.

I haven’t drawn in a while and took an afternoon to play around with pencils and pens.

after emily dickinson

after emily dickinson

the batteries in my torch died out early
in my teenage years when I tried to
illuminate myself so I fell to writing
epigraphical epithets in the moonlight
with a label maker, affixing them in lines
of chapter titles to catalogue myself
before others blacked out letters
leaving the white space like stars
new constellations to navigate the unknown

Drought

the rain begins falling on the footpath,
a polite smattering of applause
before the crescendo of ovation

rises, peaks, slackens and fades
watering the seed fallen on stony ground
while the petrichor rises in wisps
then dissipates
the incense to your leaving
and the beginning of the drought

Graffiti

 

to erase me is to wipe
away the graffiti as though
it can make up for the 
late night tags written
under cover of darkness
where I wear the smell
of spray cans as deodorant 
and the rattle of the ball bearing
the music of our minds

This came about because my daughters had this whiteboard in the lounge room when they were practicing dance and Physie routines. The board was clean and next to it was the whiteboard marker and eraser. I debated getting the black whiteboard marker from my pencil case (I am a teacher after all) but stuck with the purple and wrote this up on the spur of the moment, tapping into the impermanency of the surface and the content of the poem. Tonight the girls are using the white board to play games of Hangman.

As a side note, does anyone else have trouble spelling “graffiti”? I always mix up the number of “f’s” or “t’s” but thankfully I wrote it correctly.

Kinetic Energy

the time I spilled Hundred and Thousands
on the kitchen floor trying to make
fairy bread (because mum said we
weren’t allowed to have it)
I blamed it on you

as they scattered, we collided
with one thousand reasons
ricocheted off a million pretences
and you swept up the mess
collecting the coloured atoms
of our relationship

and the sugared balls hitting
the plastic bag of the bin
sounded like rain